Letters to the Editor

Published October 27, 2003

Government needs to permit abortion in exceptional
circumstances

To the Daily:

I am pro-life, but I vote pro-choice. I’ll explain. I am
pro-life for a number of reasons. The first being my conception. My
mother was raped, and while this was a brutal experience for her,
she, already a single mother with no education or career to speak
of, choose to have me. She always felt that a higher power created
all life. Second, I fully believe that sexual freedom does not mean
sexual irresponsibility.

Women who have sex should be on or practice some form of birth
control. If you lack the maturity to protect yourself and not
buckle under the pressure of a man that would prefer to not wear a
condom, then you shouldn’t be having sex. Which leads to why
I vote pro-choice. I understand that not every woman can withstand
the horrors of rape and see their child as a gift from a higher
power. I also understand that not every female having sex is a
mature woman. Often young girls are engaging in sexual activity.
Young girls that haven’t yet learned to think for themselves,
who are easily pressured into sex and unprotected sex. Should these
young girls then be forced to have children?

Especially in a society that looks to the female to place the
blame. Because let’s face it, teen pregnancy has more of an
impact on the life of the female than the male. Not to mention the
logistics of raising a child when you are one yourself. Coming from
an inner city and then teaching in one, I also realize that many
young women get pregnant simply because they are too afraid to use
birth control. Too afraid that their parents will find out. Because
what parents forget is the simple truth that their children have
their own sexuality and in the end the parents have no control over
when or how their children engage in sex. So the best thing to do
is to protect them by teaching them to not only abstain but to
protect themselves when they chose to have sex. But in the end I
vote pro-choice because making abortion illegal will not rid this
country of abortion. (Just like preaching only abstinence
won’t keep young people from having sex). Women will still
have abortions just like they did before Roe v. Wade. Only
the procedure will be unsafe and instead of losing one life we may
lose two.

Zikiya Norton

Rackham

 

‘Partial-birth’ a fair term for abortion
procedure

To the Daily:

I am responding to Lauren Strayer’s column, Doctoring a
woman’s right to choose
(10/23/03), and I would like to
say that it is perpetuating many of the pro-choice fallacies about
the pro-life movement especially in regard to the recent passage of
the ban on partial-birth abortion.

Taking her first complaints that the bill legitimizes a
fabricated and misleading term “partial-birth
abortion,” I recommend a visit to medical websites such as
Medline at the National Institutes of Health or the Intelihealth
site where this exact term is defined in the Merriam Webster
Medical Dictionary as “an abortion in the second or third
trimester of pregnancy in which the death of the fetus is induced
after it has passed partway through the birth canal.”

The bill itself defines partial-birth abortion as an abortion in
which “the person performing the abortion deliberately and
intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case
of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the
body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any
part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the
mother.” Where is the misleading language? What is unclear?
The term “partial-birth” is perfectly accurate in
describing this type of abortion.

Considering the complaint that there is no health exception, the
bill would permit use of the procedure if “necessary to save
the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical
disorder, physical illness or physical injury, including a
life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the
pregnancy itself.” If the ambiguous and generalized exception
of “health of the mother” was included, it would cover
emotional, financial, familial well-being, and physical health
conditions. Every pregnancy could be aborted on these grounds. This
also does not take into account all of the partial-birth abortions
committed on healthy mothers as Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director
of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, has told The New
York Times. ˝In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is
performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks
or more along.”

Finally, I would like to emphasize that pro-lifers understand
the immense emotional distress that an unplanned pregnancy can give
a mother. We realize that women can feel pressured into abortion by
fear, misinformation or lack of support from loved ones and thus
are not entirely at fault. Instead of increasing guilt for women
through condemnation, we have helped to create crisis pregnancy
centers and to run groups for healing from post-abortion grief.
Pro-lifers do not wish to punish women who have had abortions; we
want to help them achieve healing and forgiveness. We hate the sin
but love the sinner.

Pro-lifers are not losing the battle as this ban on
partial-birth abortion clearly shows. America for the first time in
30 years is turning away from this horrible procedure of death to
once more embrace the culture of life.

Stephanie Muller

Music senior

Divestment from Israel not a productive step toward peace in
the Middle East

To the Daily:

It is disturbing to see that students on campus continue to
employ deceptive tactics and arguments in pursuit of an
impractical, divisive and hateful goal. In Fatima Makhzoum’s
letter (Case for divestment from Israel compelling; Israel very
similar to apartheid South Africa
, 10/23/03), she continues to
spew the same vitriolic propaganda seen last year in defense of
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality and their inane efforts to
urge the University to divest.

It is interesting that Makhzoum accuses opponents of divestment
of trying to avoid “substantively discussing the actual
conflict.” If she wanted to discuss the conflict, her letter
would comprehensively analyze the overwhelmingly complex and
deep-rooted problem in Israel instead of conjuring up a simplistic
solution based on false or misleading facts. Does she support peace
(the word peace is not mentioned once in her letter), or does she
support divestment — which would effectively strip the
Israeli military of the ability to defend itself against countless
terrorist attacks attempted each day and cause more Israelis to
lose their jobs, not to mention a plethora of other effects that
would in no way conceivably lead to peace?

Nevertheless, there is a redeeming quality to Makhzoum’s
letter. Her inclusion of Avraham Burg’s quote that criticizes
Israeli policy toward Palestinians (although taken out of context)
serves as further proof of Israel’s vibrant democracy. The
fact that a former member of the Israeli Knesset can publicly
criticize his own government without having to fear for his life is
a testament to the lively debate and democratic process that takes
place on a daily basis in Israel. I certainly do not claim Israel
to be a perfect state — but that is why I love Israel so much
and have such a strong yearning for peace. I take pride in the fact
that Israel is willing to honestly examine its policies, and that
this vigorous debate will lead to a more peaceful situation.

In the meantime, it would be nice if SAFE were to support
self-criticism and perhaps even once publicly denounce terrorism.
If Makhzoum read the rest of Avraham Burg’s speech, maybe she
would heed his request to the world, as he concludes, “They
must reach out and help Israel to navigate the road map toward our
national destiny as a light unto the nations and a society of
peace, justice and equality.˝ It is time for everyone to move
forward and examine potential paths to peace, and abandon reckless
and counterproductive arguments.

Sol Adelsky

LSA sophomore

Co-chair, American Movement for Israel